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19 March 2020


By: Kelly Berntson, Communication and Events Manager

With so many people working from home, I wanted to share with you some advice about how I succeed working from home. I’ve been working from home for 2 years now (after working 8-5 office in various sized offices) and have learned how to stay motivated while maintaining a work/life balance. I’ve also thrown in a few tips on how I’ve adjusted for my husband and 1 year-old being home too!

  1. STICK TO YOUR MORNING ROUTINE: Brush your teeth, take a shower, workout – whatever your morning routine, make sure you stick with it. It’s important for me to workout and shower, it’s the time I get for me and as a working parent it’s my only me time.
    • Tip: Many workout studios are offering complimentary online classes.
  2. GET DRESSED: Whether it’s going from pajamas to fancy pajamas (or leggings) or putting on a nice shirt, it’s important to separate your working day from your time at home. My husband has been wearing his company-branded sweaters with flannel pajama pants during the day and switching into his sports hoodies after work.
  3. CHERISH THE TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY – EAT TOGETHER: I’ve been enjoying the time I get to eat breakfast with my family, I get to cook a hot breakfast for my daughter and spend extra time with her before we begin our (new) daily routine.
  4. UTILIZE YOUR COMMUTER CUP: I always make sure to take my favorite travel cup that says “Best Mom Ever” from the kitchen to my office as it puts smile on face and reminds me of my little girl. I only use this cup on my ‘commute’ to work which makes it extra special.
  5. DEFINE AN OFFICE SPACE: I have my own office that I open (turn on the lights, open the curtains) and close (cleanup, shut the door) every day but with my husband and I both working from home we’ve had to get creative on additional working spaces. I now work at the dining table where I put a candle and picture frame, (see picture) this allows me to have something from my office and separate the space from working time to meal times. I’m also debating about putting up the Christmas tree again – why not spread good cheer?
  6. FIX A HEALTHY LUNCH & TAKE A BREAK: When you’re home, you don’t have to worry about going to buy a quick lunch every day. I enjoy my 25 step-walk to the kitchen and fix myself a fresh salad or easily heat up leftovers. I use lunch time for a few minutes to unplug – do I need to run an errand, unload the dishwasher, throw in a load of wash? Just as you take a little office break take a little work break.
  7. MOVE AROUND: Don’t forget to stand up or take a walk. I have a watch that beeps at me to stand up at least once an hour – if I don’t wear it I can go hours with moving from computer and I notice my body is stiff by the end of the day. I also try to get in some neck and shoulder exercises as I tend to have bad posture. By doing little things throughout the day to take care of my body it not only clears my mind but keeps me healthy.
    • TIP: Work outside, vitamin D and fresh air can help clear your head and refine your ideas.
  8. DON’T TURN ON THE TV: Would you watch tv at the office? Then don’t watch it while you’re working from home, I know it’s tempting to want to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite show but it will be so much more enjoyable when you can watch it without distractions (and a glass of wine).
  9. CHECK IN OFTEN: Have a question? Don’t be afraid to reach out to your co-workers whether through a chat or video app, you’re letting people know that you’re working and staying connected. Plus, it can get lonely working from home, keeping up on work and water cooler conversations can help you feel a little less distant.
  10. BE PREPARED TO BE ON VIDEO: Be ready to be on screen, many people like to see who they’re talking to and “camera on” is the default for many video conferencing programs (another good reason to take a shower).
    • TIP: Buy a cover for your camera if you don’t like being on video.

We encourage everyone to follow CDC and local government guidelines for COVID-19 procedures. We appreciate those in critical infrastructure industries and THANK YOU for your service!

4 March 2020


Looking to learn more about HR Open Standards President, Jason Sole? Well, when he’s not volunteering his time to help promote HR Open at conferences or representing the Consortium at US Chamber events he’s the Director of Sales Engineering at DirectEmployers Association (DE). Jason serves as the primary liaison between the Development, Member Support, and Partnership teams at DE. A bit of a technical smoke-jumper, he’s able tackle and solve problems, explain complex technical issues to non-technical audiences, and pre-check setups and data gathering to make new projects flow smoothly. Jason is the proud parent of two children and enjoys taking trips to Disney with his family.
As the President of HR Open Standards, Jason goes the the extra mile to advance technology standards and positively impact the HR technology landscape. Jason answers some questions about HR Open, the standards, their impact, and how you can get involved.

For those who may not be familiar, can you tell us a little bit about HR Open Standards?

HR Open Standards is an international consortium of HR Technology creators. We have been around since the 1990s and existed for a long time as the HR-XML Consortium. We rebranded several years ago to reflect the changing nature of the technology and how it was being consumed (there were a lot of new alternatives to XML coming out).

Our goal as an organization is to provide a space where the builders of HR Technology–the engineers, developers, CTOs, and support staff–can come together and collaborate. This is primarily with the standards we produce, but we also provide a way for technologists at different companies to come together and compare notes.

Very interesting! How did you get involved and how many years have you had the opportunity to participate?

I have been active with HR Open Standards for six and a half years. I started by serving on the Technical Steering Committee in August 2013. At the time, another colleague at DirectEmployers was a board member, and they needed someone with a technical background to help offer some insight. They were doing a lot of work with mobile data standards, and mobile web development was an area with which I had experience.

That sounds like some great experience – tell us more about the roles have you played throughout the years within the organization. 

I have had several roles within the organization. I have chaired the Technical Steering Committee for six years and served on the Board of Directors for five. I was Secretary of the Board for 2018 and 2019, and I am Board President until the end of 2020.

What impact do you feel HR Open Standards has had on developing HR data exchange standards?

HR Open Standards is the only organization with a comprehensive set of HR standards. As such, it has had a profound impact on the standards ecosystem for HR systems. This has also allowed DirectEmployers to participate and help lead some interesting projects. Recently, we helped with the pilot program for the Job Data Exchange project at the US Chamber of Commerce where we collaborated with, Google, and the US Chamber to build a data exchange proof of concept between employers, educators, and government.

Congrats on your new role as President of the Board of Directors! What will your responsibilities entail in this new role?

Thanks! I will serve as one of the public faces of the Consortium, as well as help facilitate relationships the Consortium has with other organizations and standards bodies such as the US Chamber of Commerce and PESC.

How do you feel your involvement has affected your work with DirectEmployers?

It increases the visibility of DirectEmployers with the technology providers and decision-makers in the HR Industry. I can maintain contacts and relationships with other HR Technology companies that would be difficult or impossible otherwise. Also, I am exposed to new ways of thinking and solving problems, which is always helpful as DE encounters new technology and challenges.

How do you feel your involvement has enriched your career and helped with your role as a Sales Engineer?

It has forced me to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I am naturally an introvert, but leading an international organization, and representing them in large, crowded meetings require that I expand and practice the non-technical side of my skill set. That skill set is critical in a Sales Engineering role where my job is making technology understandable and approachable to those that might be intimidated by it.

What projects are you actively involved with at the moment? Anything new and exciting on the horizon to share?

We are working with the US Chamber of Commerce and the White House to work on a collaborative set of data standards for the HR Technology community. It moves at the pace of government, but we are trying to create a unified approach to solve known problems. The hope is to free up capacity in the industry to build new things and stop solving the same problem over and over.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the work you’ve accomplished at HR Open Standards?

The HR Technology industry is both humongous and small. There are huge players across the entire globe, but you often see the same organizations and people at events. Those organizations all have smart and driven people who are trying to solve all kinds of unique problems.

What is the best way to get involved with HR Open?

Encourage your vendors to join and participate in the Consortium. The more voices we have, the more effective we are. Also, the more we can standardize and integrate like-minded systems, the simpler and cheaper the implementation of new HRIS systems will be.

We appreciate Jason’s contribution to HR Open and the standards. If you want to know more about DirectEmployers and how they offer simple solutions for complex OFCCP compliance and recruitment marketing challenges head over to their website to learn more!

9 January 2020


This blog post is in partnership with From Day One. Click here for the original post and visit their website for more information.


“You just get up and you start marching,” says author, teacher and consultant Jim Collins. “You always have a friend right when you wake up in the morning and there’s this monster project that is going to take you years to do.” For Collins, his “monster project” has been research into long-term corporate success (and failure), research that has led to authoring and co-authoring six bestselling books, including Good to Great and Built To Last.

Speaking at October’s From Day One conference in Denver, Collins shared his business insights and told the audience about his research over the past 30 years, his plans for his next project, and the spreadsheet organization he uses to get it all done.

“The rule is very simple: I have to hit above 1,000 creative hours every 365-day cycle. That’s how you get these big projects done. You just do that,” he said, echoing one of the enduring concepts he distilled in his research.

There are other advantages that accrue from such sustained focus. “It gives you a chance to really go deep,” Collins told From Day One co-founder Steve Koepp during the one-on-one conversation. “I also find the insights deepen over time. If you stay in the work⁠—stay deep in the actual work⁠—then over time, you will have something that might be worthy to share.”

What Collins has discovered in his research has proven worthy of teaching to corporations like Amazon, MBA students at Stanford, and cadets at West Point. In addition to compiling 6,000 years of combined corporate history, he’s also done immersive studies in health care, government and education.

“⁠I’ve been really lucky,” said Collins. “I think luck’s important in life. But what really is the most critical kind of luck is ‘who’ luck—people who touch your life.”

It’s ultimately all about people. “Great vision without great people is irrelevant,” Collins insisted. “If you always start with the idea that you begin first and foremost, everything, with building around people and getting the right people for what you’re trying to do in the kind of company are trying to build, then ‘who’ comes before ‘why.’ That makes a great life.”

To read the full article visit

From Day One, a forum on corporate values, is heading to Gilley’s, Dallas on November 6, 2019. To review the day’s agenda and get tickets click here:

Join us, and as an HR Open subscriber, you receive an exclusive, 10% discount on registration with the offer code HROPEN.

9 January 2020


HR Open Standards is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on the JDX JobSchema+ Project. The Chamber Foundation recently announced the public feedback period is open on the project which looks to significantly evolve the existing data standard for job postings. HR Open is proud to be working on this project that will support more diverse hiring needs and in-demand skills and competencies in a modern workplace. This project closely relates to HR Open Standards mission to enable innovation in the HR Technology Industry by providing a turnkey solution to the problem of data exchange.

In today’s talent marketplace, data is king. However, in order to organize, manage, and share data effectively we need a solid foundation of interoperable data standards starting with data on jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is excited to partner with HR Open Standards to update and improve the JobPosting Schema, leverage it as part of the Job Data Exchange (JDX), and make the data the results from it more shareable with credentialing organizations and learners through the T3 Innovation Network.” – Jason Tysko, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The JDX JobSchema+ expands and improves upon the JobPosting Schema, a widely-deployed schema in the employment context. Evolving and modernizing the existing standard is central to the success of the JDX initiative, which aims to deliver real-time labor market data to the stakeholders of the talent marketplace direct from employers.

“HR Open Standards has been developing and evolving well-adopted schemas to support recruiting since 1999. Our partnership with the Chamber Foundation will support the expansion of these standards to better signal accurate job requirements, support discovery of these job requirements to job seekers, and to help match candidates’ skills, knowledge and abilities to the true job requirements. We are excited about this collaboration” – Andrew Cunsolo, President of HR Open Standards Consortium

HR Open Standards Consortium looks forward to our continued partnership with the Chamber Foundation to evolve the standards and improve support for education and government organizations. In addition, we are participating on the JDX Advisory Council, making the expertise and experience in our Consortium available to the industry in new and exciting ways.

9 January 2020


HR Open Standards has the privilege of working with the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) on two projects; the T3 Innovation Network and the Job Data Exchange (JDX). These closely related projects align to the mission of HR Open Standards, which enables innovation in the HR Technology Industry by providing a turnkey solution to the problem of data exchange.

“In today’s talent marketplace, data is king. However, in order to organize, manage, and share data effectively we need a solid foundation of inter-operable data standards starting with data on jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is excited to partner with HR Open Standards to update and improve the JobPosting Schema, leverage it as part of the Job Data Exchange (JDX), and make the data that results from it more shareable with credentialing organization and learners through the T3 Innovation Network” 

-Jason Tyszko, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

As part of the T3 Innovation Network, HR Open has been able to work alongside the USCCF and its other partners to discuss and brainstorm solutions to problems that challenge both our members and the country at large. Together, we are bringing technical solutions to the dual challenge of the Skills Gap and the Talent Gap that is facing America. These gaps are making it difficult for employers to fill many positions, and has made the need for efficient and effective technical solutions all the more urgent.

An extension of the T3 Innovation Network, the JDX is a real-world technical solution to the communication barriers that exists between employers, government, and educational institutions. Rather than introduce an additional standard into the industry, the JDX aims to leverage the standards that already exist (namely HR Open Standards JSON specification and in order to provide a cooperative environment where data can be exchanged easily between multiple organizations. This will allow State, Federal, Education, and Private Sector forces to communicate effectively and focus their development resources on solving the employment challenges that face America.

As we move into 2019, the HR Open Standards Consortium looks forward to our continued partnership with the USCCF to evolve the standards in 2019 and improve support for education and government organizations. In addition, we are participating on the JDX Advisory Council, making the expertise and experience in our consortium available to the industry in new and exciting ways.

9 January 2020


Representatives from HR Open were invited by the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Chris Liddell, to participate in a conversation discussing bipartisan issues on the state of the job market.

Technology players and organizations such as Google, LinkedIn, US Chamber of Commerce, Council on Foreign Relations, Markle Foundation, CareJourney (Veterans), ITI, Lumina Foundation, and World Economic Forum came together to discuss the state of the job market.

Their conversations looked at what current and practical initiatives are happening in the marketplace to help the American worker upscale and how the government can get involved. The discussion centered around how a bipartisan committee can help make the process easier for the average worker through funding, legislation, and leadership.

Participants determined that there should be universally adopted standards . Through this Roundtable, different parties will have a platform to talk to each other, making it easier to implement standards and critical initiatives throughout various organizations.

As a standards organization, HR Open is dedicated to the implementation of HR data standards throughout various industries. Currently, HR Open Standards is working with the US Chamber of Commerce on the Job Data Exchange (JDX) project which, “improves how clearly employers communicate their hiring needs to workforce development partners and educators across the country” and the T3 Innovation Network that “is exploring the emerging technologies and standards in the talent marketplace to better align student, workforce, and credentialing data with the needs of the new economy.”

We understand the importance of having open forums where various organizations can come together to discuss the future of their industry. We’re honored to be a member of these Roundtable discussions and will continue to participate in future sessions and encourage broader engagement.